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Thematic Guides

Organized Crime in Canada After 1945 and Immigration Records

Political cartoon entitled JUST BECAUSE THEY STOLE MY PANTS AN' GUN DOESN'T MEAN WE SHOULD HAVE A FEDERAL INQUIRY INTO ORGANIZED CRIME... AFTER ALL... I'VE STILL GOT M'BADGE..
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This guide consists of general and specific references to government immigration records relating to organized crime in Canada after 1945.

There is much more to organized crime in Canada than the Italian criminal association known as the Mafia. Through various court cases, royal commissions and the media, the existence of a highly organized criminal networks in Canada became known to the Canadian public in the late 1970s. In 1984, a joint federal-provincial committee estimated that organized crime in Canada took in about 20 billion dollars annually, almost half of which was from the sales of narcotics.

This guide was created in March 1988 and revised in September 2000.

Government Records

Records On Immigration of Specific Ethnic/National Groups

Researchers should consult the unnumbered finding aid titled "Ethnic Index" under the name of any relevant specific national or ethnic group (see archivist for details). Make sure to consult files on immigration from country of citizenship (e.g., U.S., France, Great Britain) as well as group of ethnic origin. Please note that this index covers only major sources in the collections, and only for acquisitions as of 1978 (except for RG 76, which has been updated to 1986).

Records of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (RG 26)

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration, was responsible for immigration from 1950 to 1966.

Deputy Ministers' Records (Series A)

Organized crime [Deputy Minister's files], 1963-1971
(RG 26, vol. 170, file 3-25-34 parts 1-2)
A general file, including some references to specific individuals and families
General subject files on Cabinet Conclusions and security matters
(RG 26 series A1 (a) and (c), examples are: vols. 153-158, vol. 143, file 3-40-24 and vols. 161-169)
Will include references related to the control of organized crime.

Records of the Immigration Branch (RG 76)

The Department of Immigration kept a collection of many records from different government departments who, over the years, have all been responsible for immigration to Canada.

Deportation, 1932-1977
(RG 76, acc. 1983-84/349, boxes 40-52, file blocks 5230 to 5245, finding aid 76-75)

Central Registry Files (Series B)

Series B 1 (a) - First Central Registry, 1893-1953

Occasional references to organized crime are located in more recent files in this series, overlapping and continued by similar files in the following (Second) CR files below. Please consult the finding aids for this series identified in the inventory, under file titles and subject headings such as the following:

  • specific ethnic groups (American, Italian, French, etc.) - the most important of these are listed in the Ethnic Index ;
  • subject files on crimes, criminals, "undesirables", law enforcement, smuggling, narcotics, prostitution (white slave traffic), and immigration irregularities generally; and
  • subject files on deportation, as listed in the special unnumbered finding aid "Deportation References."
  • Series B 1 (b) - Second Central Registry, 1946-1966

References to organized crime are scattered throughout files in this series, overlapping and continuing similar files in the preceding (First) CR files above. Please consult the finding aids for this series identified in the inventory, under file titles and subject headings such as the following:

  • specific ethnic groups (American, Italian, French, etc.) - the most important of these are listed in the Ethnic Index;
  • subject files on illegal entry, "undesirables," enforcement, deportation, smuggling, narcotics, prostitution (white slave traffic), liaison with RCMP, and immigration irregularities generally;
  • subject files on Cabinet Conclusions and security matters generally, which may include references to the control of organized crime; and
  • any surviving case files on named criminals.

Examples include:

Questions in the House of Commons; deportation of Onofrio Minaudo and Guiseppe Catalonotte, 1957-1964
(RG 78, vol. 689, file 568-3-21, reel C-10687)
See also finding aid 76-12 part 1, vols. 689-692 for files on other individual deportation cases, 1965 ff.
Irregular entry of Italians [various districts, 1950-1963]
(RG 76, vol. 720, file 540-6-ED to 540-6-PR)
Irregular procedures regarding admission of immigrants from France, 1951-1956
(RG 76, vol. 721, file 540-6-550)
Irregular procedures regarding issue of visas in Italy, 1951-1965
(RG 76, vols. 721-722, files 540-6-575 parts 1-4)
Travel agencies in the U.S.A.; activities regarding admission of illegal Italian immigrants, 1950-1958
(RG 76, vol. 783, file 540-2-2)
Activities of undesirables; general, 1959-1965
(RG 76, vol. 783, file 540-25)
Deportation [various general and special topics; see finding aids 1930s-1960s]
(RG 76, vols. 750-753 and 930, file block 514)

Series B 1 (c) - Third Central Registry, 1950-1979

References to organized crime are scattered throughout files in this series, overlapping and continuing similar files in the preceding (Second) CR files above. Please consult the finding aids for this series identified in the inventory, under file titles and subject headings such as the following:

  • specific ethnic groups (American, Italian, French, etc.) - the most important of these are listed in the Ethnic Index;
  • subject files on illegal entry, "undesirables," enforcement, deportation, smuggling, narcotics, liaison with RCMP, and immigration irregularities generally; and
  • subject files on Cabinet Conclusions and security matters generally, which may include references to the control of organized crime.

Examples include:

Crimes and irregularities; organized crime, 1958-1975
(RG 76, vol. 970, file 5170-5)
Miscellaneous files on crimes and irregularities, 1950s-1970s
(RG 76, vols. 970-971, file block 5170)
See finding aid 76-17 for specific references.
Stage B, Security Screening, U.S.A., 1954-1974
(RG 76, vol. 980, file 5420-1-637)
Miscellaneous files on crimes and irregularities, classified files, period 1964 ff. only
(RG 76, vols. 1054-1060, file blocks 5170 to 5175)
See finding aid 76-16 for specific references.

Secret (SF) Files (Series B 2)

See in this series the subject files on Cabinet Conclusions and security matters generally, which may include references to control of organized crime. Examples include:

Interdepartmental Committee on Immigration, 1950-1958
(RG 76, vol. 952, file SF-I-1)
Security examinations; general, 1946-1976
(RG 76, vols. 957- 958, files SF-S-1 parts 1-9)
Investigation and intelligence activities of Enforcement Section, 1965-1974
(RG 76, vol. 953, file SF-I-38)
Includes proceedings of a federal provincial conference on organized crime, 1966-1969.

HQ Case and Subject Files (Series B 3 (a))

Antonio and Guiseppa Manno (criminals deported), 1958-1968
(RG 76, vol. 676, file HQ1-25268 parts 1-2, reel C-13487)

Monthly Operational Reports (Series D 6 (a))

Monthly Operational Reports
(RG 76, acc. 87-88/096, boxes 1-3)
These are monthly summaries of immigration activities, including enforcement matters. May include a few references to activities in controlling organized crime, especially in the period 1951-1967.

Immigration Intelligence Subject Files (Series D 7 (a))

Immigration Intelligence Subject Files on enforcement and security activities, including numerous files on criminals and some on organized crime (general and specific "families"). Of greatest interest are the items in the following volumes:

  • vols. 1424-1425, files 209-10 and 209-10-1 (illegal immigration patterns, Italy);
  • vols. 1433-1434 (various files on drug trafficking);
  • vols. 1439-1447, file blocks 255 to 288 (criminal organizations and Mafia); and
  • vols. 1459, file 700-5-19 (organized crime, but dated after 1970 only).

Other files throughout the series may also contain related files. Please consult finding aid 76-60 for a full listing.

Thematic Guides